When Chowder goes off to the Fabu Pooch Boot Camp, as usual he just doesn't fit in. Chowder tries his best, but his attempts to make himself more fabulous all fall flat. When the First Annual Fabu Pooch Pageant is announced, Chowder anxiously tries to think of a way to stand out. After all, the prize is a one-year supply of Snarf Snacks! Some pups practice their pearly grins, other hounds get massages to relax. One pooch even gets permed! But Chowder finds his calling when he discovers a trampoline. He leaps, he flips, he bounces, and he wows the crowd!
That wacky but winsome bulldog named Chowder is back for another attempt to connect with other canines, this time at the Fabu Pooch Boot Camp, a sleep-away camp for pampered pooches who are already beautiful and well-behaved but still working on improving their "fabulousness." The rambunctious Chowder does not fit in with this sedate group, especially when the competitive canine crowd begins to prepare for a "pooch pageant." Chowder finds an unused trampoline and perfects a routine that wins him a special place at the camp and a job as the bouncing "spokesdoggy" for a dog-treat company. Brown's surrealistic illustration style includes exaggerated perspectives, muted shades of acid green and lavender, slightly spooky shadows and creative type treatments. His tongue-in-cheek humor introduces dogs who floss their teeth and visit the chiropractor, as well as Ms. Fabu the camp director in her flashy cocktail dress and cat-eye sunglasses. Chowder's oddly endearing attempts to connect with others of his own kind have a certain appeal for those who love an underdog. (Picture book. 4-8) (Kirkus Reviews)